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Statement by the President: Signing of the "Mckinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act" (10/30/00)

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                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                            October 30, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     Today, I am very pleased to sign into law H.R. 5417, which would
rename the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, the "McKinney-Vento
Homeless Assistance Act."

     I am deeply saddened by Representative Vento's recent passing.
Representative Vento was a great friend of the poor and the homeless.  His
leadership on the issue of homelessness will be greatly missed in Minnesota
and across the Nation.

     Representative Vento was a key leader in the effort to secure the
original passage in 1987 of the McKinney Act, the first and still the most
significant Federal program to assist homeless persons.  His commitment to
those left behind did not end with the passage of the homeless assistance
bill.  For over a decade he remained a leading voice for social justice on
Capitol Hill, introducing legislation to expand and improve services to
homeless people, and continually reminding his colleagues and the American
people of our responsibility to our most vulnerable neighbors.
Representative Vento was also a passionate advocate for affordable housing
and protecting our Nation's natural resources.

     Bruce Vento's passing represents a significant loss for Americans who
care about ending homelessness, ensuring housing opportunity, and
protecting the environment.  Renaming the McKinney Act the McKinney-Vento
Homeless Assistance Act will serve to regularly remind our Nation of Bruce
Vento's passion for justice and the responsibility we each have for our
homeless neighbors.

                              WILLIAM J. CLINTON

    October 30, 2000.

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